They have their work cut out for them, but they are up to the challenge.

This morning, seven new recruits were sworn in to the Regina Police Service.

It was quite an accomplishment to make the final cut and for all of them the really hard work is about to begin.

It starts at the police college — 20 weeks of training, lots of it physical.  Then they will be on the streets working in a city with the second-highest crime rate in Canada.  To even be selected, candidates underwent rigorous screening, including polygraph tests to make sure they have what it takes.

One of the new members, Jesse Pentz, is following in his father’s footsteps.  He decided he wanted to be a police officer when his dad retired a few years ago.

“I just saw the respect he got from his colleagues and I saw the satisfaction he got from the job,” he says.  “I want that 30 years down the road.”

Bradley Pentz is proud of his son, and proud of his decision to join the Regina Police Service.  It was a special day for the family.

“From a family point of view, we are very proud of him,” he says.  “I think he will enjoy his career and it will be good for him.  It’s a good day.”

The department is attempting to increase the number of Aboriginal and female recruits.  About 10 per cent of the department is Aboriginal.  The goal is to boost that to about 14 per cent.

One of the oldest recruits to be sworn in today was Stewart Bear.  He is Metis and worked as a deputy sheriff before being hired on as a Regina police officer.

“It’s been a long time for me and I am one of the more senior people,” he says.  “I am chasing a dream and it means a lot to me and my family.”

The department’s recruitment officer, Sgt. Kelly Benting, says the Regina Police Service is always looking for ways to increase the number of Aboriginals — but, ultimately, she says it is the best person that gets hired for the job.

“It’s a very daunting process to go through,” she says.  “So whoever makes it to the end stages deserves to be there.”

Five men and two women were part of the latest group of recruits to join the RPS.  Women currently make up 25 per cent of the department.  The goal is to increase that to 45 per cent.